Where to stay in Brisbane for first time: 5 Safe areas

I traveled to Brisbane a few times, sometimes I stayed at my friend’s home, sometimes I stayed at a hotel. I understand that Finding where to stay in Brisbane as a first-timer can be overwhelming. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Brisbane for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Brisbane for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Brisbane and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Brisbane is the capital city of the state of Queensland and is Australia’s third most populous city, after Sydney and Melbourne. The city is situated on the banks of the Brisbane River and has a subtropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year.

Brisbane is known for its vibrant cultural scene, outdoor activities, and a relaxed lifestyle. Some notable landmarks in Brisbane include the Story Bridge, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, South Bank Parklands, and the Queensland Cultural Centre. 

Is Brisbane safe to visit?

Yes, Brisbane is generally a safe city with a relatively low-crime city compared to many other major cities around the world. But, like any urban area, it’s essential to take basic safety precautions, be aware of their surroundings, and follow local guidelines.

For a safe night out, it is recommended to stick to well-lit streets, avoid excessive drinking, be careful around intoxicated groups and avoid confrontation. If you feel unsafe, get out of the situation straight away.

Where to stay in Brisbane for the first time?

The best and safest areas to stay in Brisbane for first-timers and tourists are Brisbane CBD, South Bank/South Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, Spring Hill, and Kangaroo Point. It’s advisable to use common sense and take usual precautions no matter where you choose to stay in Brisbane. 

Central Business District (CBD) is one of the most popular choices for first-time visitors. It is the heart of the city, providing easy access to major attractions, shopping, dining, and public transportation. It’s a generally safe area both day and night. 

South Bank is a great area for those with kids. It is a pleasant and safe area known for its riverside promenade, cultural attractions, parks, and entertainment options. 

Fortitude Valley is a great base in Brisbane for a vibrant nightlife. It is the city’s entertainment district with many restaurants, bars, and clubs. While it can be lively at night, it’s generally safe. Exercise standard precautions, especially in the late hours.

Spring Hill is best suited for those who want proximity to the city center but prefer a quieter setting.

Kangaroo Point is a peaceful riverside location that has scenic views of the river and the city, and outdoor activities like rock climbing and walking trails.

On one of my trips to Brisbane, I stayed for 4 nights at the mid-range Royal Albert Hotel in the CBD. It was a good value for money accommodation in a prime location, great base for sightseeing, shopping, and restaurants. My room was spacious with a comfortable bed.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Brisbane for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Brisbane first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Brisbane first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Brisbane, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Brisbane have been carefully selected by me from well-known booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Safe areas to stay in Brisbane for first-timers and tourists:

1. Brisbane CBD (Central Business District)

Brisbane CBD is one of the most popular areas to stay in Brisbane for many first-time tourists due to its central location and accessibility to various attractions. It is the heart of the city, making it convenient for accessing sights, shopping precincts, and dining/nightlife options.

The CBD is well-connected with public transportation, including buses, trains, and ferries, making it easy to explore other parts of Brisbane and its surroundings.

Queen Street Mall, located in the heart of the CBD, is a major shopping precinct with a wide range of retail stores, boutiques, and department stores.

You’ll find cultural attractions like the Queensland Museum, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) within or near the CBD.

The CBD offers diverse dining options, from casual eateries to fine dining restaurants. Eagle Street Pier is known for its riverside dining experience.

While not as lively as Fortitude Valley, the CBD still has a variety of bars, pubs, and clubs for those interested in nightlife.

Best places to stay in Brisbane CBD for first-time tourists:

Luxury ($$$): Meriton Suites Herschel Street, Brisbane, popular 5-star hotel in central Brisbane CBD, within walking distance to most tourist spots, restaurants, and Roma Street Train Station. It has an indoor swimming pool, family rooms, 24-hour front desk, and laundry services.

Mid-range ($$): Royal On The Park, great 4.5 star accommodation on Alice Street in the heart of the CBD, close to everything, easy walk from Queen Street Mall  and the Botanic Gardens. It has an outdoor swimming pool, very good breakfast, and private parking for those who drive.

Mid-range ($$): Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane, 4-star apartment-style accommodation in a prime location of George Street, short walk/taxi ride from Brisbane River, Queensland Art Gallery, and the Wheel of Brisbane. It has excellent breakfast, Outdoor swimming pool, onsite restaurants and a bar.


2. South Bank/ South Brisbane

South Bank/South Brisbane is an excellent base for travelers due to its close proximity to the CBD, and its relaxed riverside setting. It’s also an excellent choice for those interested in arts and culture.

South Bank is known for its vibrant cultural precinct, which includes the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the State Library of Queensland.

South Bank Parklands is a popular recreational area along the Brisbane River. It features gardens, walking and cycling paths, and the Streets Beach, a man-made lagoon and beach. This area is great for leisurely strolls and outdoor activities.

You can enjoy beautiful views of the Brisbane River and the city skyline from the South Bank. There are several spots, including the Clem Jones Promenade, that offer picturesque views.

South Bank offers a diverse range of dining options, from casual cafes to upscale restaurants. The area also has entertainment options, including the Wheel of Brisbane, which provides panoramic views of the city.

South Bank often hosts events, festivals, and markets, providing a lively atmosphere for visitors. Check the local calendar to see if any events coincide with your visit.

You can take a scenic walk along the river, cross the iconic Goodwill Bridge to reach the city, or explore the nearby Kangaroo Point Cliffs for more outdoor experiences.

Best places to stay in Brisbane in South Bank for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Emporium Hotel South Bank, great 5-star accommodation on Grey Street in South Bank, short distance from attractions such as the South Bank Parklands, Brisbane Exhibition Center, and City Botanical Gardens. Also close to  South Bank station, and you can find a supermarket downstairs.

Mid-range ($$): Courtyard by Marriott Brisbane South Bank, popular 4-star accommodation in South Brisbane, within only 5 mins walk from Brisbane River and South Bank Parklands. It has a 24/7 front desk, indoor pool, fitness center, and a car parking is available for AUD 35.

Mid-range ($$): Rydges South Bank Brisbane, 4-star hotel centrally located at the Corner of Grey & Glenelg Street, featuring rooms with views of the River, Mount Coot Tha or the West End. The hotel’s staff can help you with car rentals, laundry, and currency exchange services.


3. Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley, often referred to simply as “The Valley,” is an ideal area for your travelers and those who enjoy a vibrant urban atmosphere and nightlife. 

Fortitude Valley is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues. The Brunswick Street Mall and Chinatown Mall are popular areas for those seeking a night out.

The Valley is home to a variety of entertainment options, including the Fortitude Valley Music Hall and The Tivoli, which host live music performances and events.

The suburb boasts a diverse range of dining options, from trendy cafes and restaurants to international cuisine. James Street is particularly known for its upscale dining and boutique shopping. The Valley Markets also offer a variety of goods on weekends.

In addition to nightlife, you can explore the local art scene with galleries like the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) and discover vibrant street art scattered throughout the area.

Fortitude Valley is located just north of the Brisbane CBD, making it easily accessible by foot, train, or bus. It provides a more lively and eclectic alternative to the CBD.

Fortitude Valley is home to Brisbane’s Chinatown, offering a range of Asian dining options and cultural experiences.

Best places to stay in Brisbane in Fortitude Valley:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Calile Hotel, 5-star hotel, located in a prime location of one of Brisbane’s best neighborhoods. Easy access to amazing restaurants, bars, and gelato shops. The hotel has a Gorgeous pool area, 4 restaurants, and an onsite parking.
  • Mid-range ($$): Sage Hotel James Street, 4.5 star hotel located in a great location in Fortitude Valley in the heart of James Street close to many restaurants, nightlife. 
  • Budget ($): Amelia Boutique Hotel, 3-star accommodation, situated on Amelia St, easy distance from Fortitude Valley Train Station, Chinatown, restaurants and bars/nightclubs. 

4. Spring Hill

Spring Hill is a charming inner-city suburb located just north of the Brisbane CBD. It is a great area for those who want a more tranquil experience while still being close to the city center.

The suburb is characterized by its heritage-listed buildings, including charming cottages and Victorian-era architecture. This adds a unique and historical element to the area.

Spring Hill is home to the Brisbane Private Hospital, which can be convenient for those seeking medical facilities during their stay.

The suburb is known for its romantic ambiance, making it a popular choice for couples. The scenic views of the city and historical surroundings add to the charm.

Spring Hill has several parks and green spaces, including the Roma Street Parkland, providing opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation.

Best places to stay in Brisbane in Spring Hill for visitors:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Inchcolm by Ovolo, 5-star accommodation in Spring Hill, 5-minute walk from Queen Street Mall. Cose to Central Station coming from the airport via train. It has large rooms with lots of storage and nice decors.
  • Mid-range ($$): Amora Hotel Brisbane, 4-star hotel located on Creek Street, Spring Hill, great base for exploring Brisbane. Easy access to Central Station, Queen St Mall, Treasury Casino, Suncorp Stadium, Howard Smith Wharves and Fortitude Valley.
  • Mid-range ($$): Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Central, an IHG Hotel, 4-star accommodation located on  Wharf Street, close to Central Station and Eagle Street where you can find many restaurants and dining options. 

5. Kangaroo Point

Kangaroo Point is a great option for couples, families, and anyone looking to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with the beauty of the Brisbane River while still being close to the city’s attractions.

Kangaroo Point is a picturesque suburb located just across the Brisbane River from the CBD. This area offers stunning river views, outdoor activities, and proximity to key attractions.

The area is popular for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for activities such as rock climbing at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, cycling along the river, and picnics in parks.

The iconic Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park offers panoramic views of the city and the Story Bridge. It’s a great spot for leisurely walks, picnics, and photography.

There are cafes and restaurants along the river, allowing you to enjoy a meal with a view. The near Story Bridge Hotel is a popular spot for dining and drinks.

Best places to stay in Brisbane in Kangaroo Point for tourists:

  • Luxury ($$$): The Point Brisbane Hotel, 5-star hotel located in a peaceful area on Lambert Street, a short walk from the ferry terminal and bus stops. Rooms are comfortable with river views. Free parking which is a bonus for those who drive.
  • Mid-range ($$): Central Dockside Apartment Hotel, 4-star accommodation on  Ferry Street, featuring self-catering apartments with views of the River and the city skyline.  Easy access to Brisbane CBD by ferry or taxi.
  • Mid-range ($$): Il Mondo Boutique Hotel, 4-star hotel set in a fantastic location on Rotherham Street, near the Gabba. Great base to explore Brisbane.

You can continue reading about Brisbane and othe destinations in Australia in these articles:

In conclusion, Brisbane CBD, South Bank, Fortitude Valley, Spring Hill, Kangaroo Point are the best places to stay in Brisbane for first-timers and tourists. These are safe and popular areas for visitors where you can find a wide range of accommodations for all budgets and preferences.

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Brisbane. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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